NaNo Update

typingSo here I sit scanning my novel in Microsoft Word, flipping through just fast enough to read a few lines per page. I can’t help but notice that most–and I mean most– of my NaNo novel is dialogue. Keep in mind I usually fly through writing the story just to purge it from my system. I’ll go back and fluff it up with more detail and descriptions later. But I can’t add enough to change the fact that it is a lot of dialogue. I’m trying really hard not to edit as I go (as you can tell by yesterday’s post). I can’t help but wonder if that much dialogue is OK?

I know my word counts seems extremely high but I’ll edit much of it out later, and I’m aiming for 100,000 words instead of 50,000. I’m using most of my ideas (even the bad ones) on the assumption that I’ll fine tune it in December and remove everything that doesn’t work. Tomorrow is a holiday and a day off so I hope to get some serious writing done without distractions.

Some questions…

What do you think? Do you prefer to read more dialogue, or more internal thoughts, or descriptions or…narration?–Or am I being paranoid?

What POV are you all using? I’m doing third person limited, changing perspective between three characters.

Are you working towards a 50,000 word count goal or more?

15 thoughts on “NaNo Update

  1. I think you should do what comes natural through the process. If establishing the dialogue first and then going back and filling scene and setting works for you, then by all means go for it.

    I’m writing in the first person POV for this novel, so there is a natural balance between dialogue and narration. I am adding some description as I go, mostly as markers for myself because this is where I will go back in and make sure the scenes are clear to the reader.

    I wrote an entire article about this that I will be posting on Monday.

    100,000 is a great goal!

    I haven’t decided whether to post my word counts once I reach the 50K mark. I’ll have to think about that. The holidays are approaching and my family is coming in. I wouldn’t want to feel like I have to leave them sitting in the living room watching TV while I write. If I set a high goal for myself that is probably what I would do because failure and me and not good friends.

    Since I’m on Chapter 10 of a 15 Chapter outline I think NaNo has really helped me nail out the draft for this second book. I’ll be happy just to get the draft done before the end of November. More about this on November 19th. I’m preparing a post about my thoughts on how NaNo has helped me.

  2. Oh, man, today seems like question day all around. I have a bunch of questions as well that I posted on my blog so I’d love it if you looked at that. I’m also using 3rd person limited POV. I worry that having so many points of view might confuse the reader but I guess I’ll worry about that more come December.

    I like a lot of dialogue, so I personally think that is good. You can really get a sense of a character that way. I tend to not throw in ‘he said’ and ‘she said’ so much, hoping that who said what will be clear enough given the context. Again, fun for December!

    We might get up to 8 inches of rain today! So definitely a stay inside and write day.

  3. I think dialogue in abundant amounts is a good thing. I’m surprised yet pleased with all the dialogue in my NaNo writing so far. Normally, I don’t use enough of it.

    I’m using third person, omniscient POV.

    I’m blown away by your goal of 100,000 words. I’m ahead of schedule but am still aiming for 50,000.

    By the way, I bet you’ll reach your goal.

  4. Go you!

    I am WAY behind on NaNo this year. I’m thinking it’s time to drop out of the challenge and spend a little time with “The Artist’s Way.” Have you ever read that book? Very inspiring.

  5. Thank you all for the feedback!

    DS, I imagine your story is full of great descriptions since you are so good at writing them. I have to really think about what I want to describe so I wait until I can have a quiet house and no distractions. I think early mornings during my two-week Christmas break should supply the quiet I need. Not to mention I love writing under the twinkling Christmas lights.

    Natasha, I will return the favor and answer your questions.
    I also worry about too many POV characters and I have to really concentrate to not head hop.
    Last night I read the first chapter of the story that falls in line before my NaNo story and the first thing I noticed–on page one–was serious head hoping. My NaNo story is third in a series BTW, Dangerous Embrace is the first.
    I try to keep it one POV per chapter but sometimes I’ll do two.
    I suggest a life jacket. Eight inches holy cow!

    Shaddy, You missed my trials of overwriting. The first novel I wrote ended at 250,000 words before I started my first edit. I’m a total novice and when I started writing Dangerous Embrace I paid no attention to word counts until I finished. I now have it edited to 123,000 words. It is still very much a work in progress.
    I am certainly not experienced enough to write in omniscient. I fear I would only screw it up. I think I’ll need to read more books written in that format first. Any suggestions? Maybe I over think it but it still scares me!

  6. Let’s see . . .
    3rd limited, two alternating POV characters
    I’m working to 50k for the month, but I’ll continue through December to finish the draft. It looks like this draft will probably run somewhere between 60-70k, then I’ll do like you and fill in descriptions and add the things I missed, filling in where I put in little notes and placeholders while I was drafting. I write a lot of dialogue too, mainly because it comes easier for me, but also because I like to read dialogue. I space out during long paragraphs, and long paragraphs of description bore me to tears. But all readers have different tastes. I find it’s the old Hemingway vs. Faulkner debate. Write what you would want to read, and you can’t go wrong.

    1. Michelle, you and I are very like minded, and you’ve made a fan of me again. I also would rather read dialogue. Long great descriptions usually get me turning the page before I finish it.
      I assumed it was easier to write dialogue then descriptions and narration because I’m such a mediocre writer. Still could be true and I still have a lot to learn. I figure in ten years I’ll look back and read my first dabbles in writing and either love it…or hate it.

    1. “O. Em. Gee.” She is so freakin’ funny!
      Love the “I figure you’re a biter, maybe a scratcher.”

      Excuse me–must run to the bathroom before I pee myself from laughing.

    1. You should try reading some of her published work. She is awesome and ALWAYS good for a laugh. ‘Bet me’ is one of my all time favorites and I also love ‘Crazy for you’ and ‘Fast Women’. I have a link to her site under Favorite Authors.

  7. I did check her website and can hardly wait to have time to read something! Let’s see… in December will I choose Crusie or Dostoevsky?? Anyone wanna take bets?

  8. Oh, yeah — your original question on word count. I may have written this in a comment elsewhere. My brain bags out completely by 3000 words a day. I am slowly increasing my output, but generally the stuff at the end of the day is even worse than the stuff at the beginning.

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